The Positive Role Teachers Can Play in the Life of Children with an Incarcerated Parent
Date:  09-11-2017

Two new articles provide strategies that teachers can utilize to help children reach their educational potential during a very stressful time in their lives
With school back in session some children have a lot more to worry about than completing their homework. In the U.S. there are 2.7 million children who have a parent behind bars and studies show that these children face a variety of problems that can lead to poor outcomes, including a higher chance of being incarcerated later in life. Teachers can improve those outcomes as the following two articles demonstrate

From Education Week:

Parents' Incarceration Takes Toll on Children, Studies Say

Without ever breaking a school rule or getting a low grade, 2.7 million American students are already further along the pipeline to prison than their classmates—simply because they have a parent who is behind bars.

Studies show parental incarceration can be more traumatic to students than even a parent's death or divorce, and the damage it can cause to students' education, health, and social relationships puts them at higher risk of one day going to prison themselves. Yet in many schools, that circumstance is a hidden problem, hard for teachers to track and difficult for students and caregivers to discuss. "Most kids feel it has to be kept a secret," Amy Friedman, a founder and the executive director of Pain of the Prison System, or POPS, a support club at Venice High School in Los Angeles. "If you have to keep a secret all the time, it makes everything else in school a lot harder." Continue reading >>>

From Prison Fellowship:

Educators: Key Players in the Lives of Prisoners’ Kids

When teachers receive their roster each school year, they are handed more than a list of names—they receive an opportunity to invest in lives.

It's likely that some of these lives are impacted by crime and incarceration. 2.7 million children in the United States have a parent behind bars. Teachers and school administrators play a significant role in creating a positive or negative experience for all of their students, but particularly those who come from more vulnerable backgrounds.

Several strategies can help educators support prisoners' children in school Continue reading: